Today in Tech: FTC lets Google go; Pink slips at Infy; Popular Matrimony and more

NS Ramnath
Published: 04, Jan 2013

I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email:

FTC lets Google go with a reprimand

What's the news: After 19 months Federal Trade Commission concluded that Google did not manipulate its Web search results to hurt rivals, reports Reuters

What's the background: Google's competitors, primarily Microsoft, and also others such as Yelp!, complained that Google search was biased in favour of its own services, such as Youtube and Google Maps, and pushed down the results of equally or better-qualified rivals.

What did FTC say: The FTC "concluded that the introduction of Universal Search, as well as additional changes made to Google’s search algorithms – even those that may have had the effect of harming individual competitors – could be plausibly justified as innovations that improved Google’s product and the experience of its users. It therefore has chosen to close the investigation."

What's the impact: Google agreed to make some voluntary changes, but these changes are nothing when compared to what could have gone against the company. There was no imposition of search neutrality; and there's no need to disclose more information. In effect, it's business as usual for the search engine giant. Microsoft and other rivals are disappointed. The attention will now turn to what EU says. It's safe to expect harsher treatment from the European regulators.

What about the users? Google is still the best general search engine, in my view. But, it would do us a lot of good to hear what Microsoft and others have to say about it. Head straight to: Fair Search


Infosys might let go of 5000 people * 

Economic Times reports that Infosys might trim its headcount by 5000, by sacking under-performing employees. To get a better perspective, I looked at the number of people who got fired over the last few years. This is how the chart looks. In this context, the news is hardly surprising.


(Infosys in a statement says, "the number that may be affected is significantly lower than the 5000 quoted in the article." )

IBM India gets a new chief

Times of India reports IBM has appointed Vanitha Narayanan as managing director of IBM India. Her predecessor Shanker Annaswamy will remain in IBM as a senior advisor. Journalists looking for trends - significant or otherwise - would notice two here. Indian operations of MNCs are getting new heads. Intel got one a couple of months back. Cisco will get one soon. More interestingly, some of the big ones are headed by women. HP by Neelam Dhawan, Facebook by Kirthiga Reddy, Capgemini by Aruna Jayanthi.


Popular matrimony From a company that has launched exclusive matrimony sites for divorcees, defence personnel, and mangliks (yes, really) yet another site (Mint) for low income groups should come as no surprise. The bottom of matrimonial pyramid also seems to be huge. "We are talking about a potential market size of about Rs.3,000 crore,” according to Atul Narania, business head at


Also of interest

  • French ISP Free Blocks All Web Advertising | Fast Company
  • Will an Apple watch replace the iPhone? | Fortune
  • Obama uses autopen for third time, we wait for it to become a hacking target | Geek (The storied history of the Presidential robotic pen | Verge )
  • CES 2013 Preview: Fewer Electronics, More Cars | Technology Review
  • Facebook testing free calling, adds 'push to talk' to app | LA Times
  • ForbesReader

    It is known that Infosys terminates employment of candidates who doesn't score a particular CGPA during their training. Did you remove that number during the calculation ? It is not layoff. Also i believe there are terminations that are initiated due to disciplinary actions like violation of policies etc. Did you remove that number during the calculation ? It is not layoff. I guess the only way to get the exact number is from Infosys. Layoff is termination of an employee due to non-performance of the company and not non-performance of the employee.

    on Jan 4, 2013
    • NS Ramnath

      Hi, companies usually divide attrition into voluntary and involuntary attrition. The ET report is about involuntary attrition. Now, there are two types of involuntary attrition - firing (when a company asks an employee to leave because of performance and other issues) and lay-offs (which is done primarily to cut costs). As far as I know, Infosys has not done any lay-offs. It regularly fires people who don't measure up. And this is the number in the chart - basically the difference between its total attrition and voluntary attrition.

      on Jan 4, 2013
  • Gopi Krishnan

    Ram - curious to know how the firing numbers were arrived at. I've not seen these in the public domain or are they available in some form? Thanks!

    on Jan 4, 2013
    • NS Ramnath

      Hi Gopi, the numbers are from here Got the Firing numbers by subtracting voluntary attrition% from total attrition% and multiplying the result with the total headcount.

      on Jan 4, 2013
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